The rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the world, and Tampa is a city that knows how to make the most of it.
From rustic fish camps to upscale waterfront dining, there are plenty of specialty seafood eateries in Tampa. Don’t indulge carelessly, though, no one wants to end up at the dentist in Tampa—not because they’re not great at what they do, but because that’s less time dining.
Whether diners are seasoned seafood lovers or looking to expand their culinary horizons, these five spots might just satisfy these cravings and leave pescatarians wanting more:
1) Skipper’s Smokehouse
Skipper’s Smokehouse has been dishing up some of the best seafood in town for over 39 years.
It’s also home to the award-winning Black Bean Gator Chili and the fried gator tail—adventurous eaters won’t find them anywhere else.
The cuisines fuse Caribbean, Louisiana, and Florida flavors in one place! Their famous “Smoked Fish Dip” is a must-try, made with smoked fish and spices. Consider trying the blackened grouper sandwich and the Jamaican jerk shrimp. Remember, the seafood selection is generally exciting, with options like farm-raised catfish, conch, shark, and basa.
Many will enjoy the laid-back vibe of the outdoor seating area, complete with live music and colorful decor.
Located in the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers is a chic and sophisticated seafood restaurant with stunning views of the bay.
Consider starting with their signature oysters Rockefeller, then move on to the pan-seared snapper or the lobster tail. The lavish wine list is sure to please even the most discerning connoisseur.
A perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic night out!
3) Rusty Pelican
Perched on the edge of Tampa Bay, the Rusty Pelican is a timeless classic that has been serving fresh seafood for over 40 years.
Start with the chilled seafood tower piled high with oysters, clams, shrimp, and lobster. Then dig into the blackened fish tacos.
Visitors love the stunning views and elegant atmosphere.
4) Big Ray’s Fish Camp
For a more casual seafood experience, head to Big Ray’s Fish Camp in the neighborhood of Ballast Point.
This funky spot is known for its fresh and hearty seafood plates, like U-Peel ’em Shrimp, the spicy shrimp po’boy, and the conch fritters.
Chef Raymond “Nick” Cruz grew up watching and learning about fishing from his grandfather. Eventually, serving the best and freshest seafood in South Tampa became a personal passion.
5) West Fortune Street Fish Market
This unassuming seafood market in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood is a hidden gem.
Favorites include fried scallops, crawfish, and snow crabs. Be sure to check their Facebook page for the daily specials — one never knows what delicious surprises await.
Whether in the mood for something upscale or casual, spicy or mild, Tampa’s specialty seafood eateries have visitors covered.
These five spots are just the tip of the iceberg—there are plenty more to discover. So, grab a fork and a bib, protect those dental veneers, and get ready to indulge in some of the country’s freshest and most delicious seafood.